A day after Rahul Gandhi attacked her, BSP supremo Mayawati today slammed the Congress for adopting a "casteist" attitude towards her party founder Kanshi Ram by not declaring national mourning on his death.
The Congress Vice-President had yesterday accused Mayawati of not allowing any Scheduled Caste leader to rise in Uttar Pradesh, as he said the Dalit community needs "escape velocity" of Jupiter to underline that they needed to make more efforts for success.
Addressing party workers here at Bahujan Prerna Kendra to mark the seventh death anniversary of Kanshi Ram, Mayawati said parties opposed to the party founder, especially Congress, had a "casteist" and "disdainful" attitude towards him.
"This is the reason why the Congress-led government at the Centre did not declare even a day's mourning on his death for which our people will never forgive Congress. This is a proof of their anti-Dalit mentality for which we criticise them in strong words," she said in a statement issued here.
Addressing a programme on National Awareness for Scheduled Castes Empowerment here, Gandhi had said: "If you want to take this (Dalit) movement forward, then one Dalit leader or two Dalit leaders would not be enough.
"Lakhs of Dalit leaders are needed....the leadership of the movement has been captured by Mayawati. She doesn't allow others to rise."
Congress leaders have claimed that Dalits were originally with the party but were weaned away by BSP in the wake of the Mandal-Mandir agitation. The party believes efforts should be made to bring them back to their "original home".